"There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things."

~ Niccolo Machiavelli, historian and writer

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

All Things Come To Those Who Wait ...

Well, it's about time, eh!

This little tidbit just released today by the Nova Scotia Department of Community Services ~

Contributions to Registered Disability Savings Plans will now be exempted when calculating eligibility for income assistance.
The province is making it easier for families of people with disabilities to save for their loved one's future by allowing them to use Registered Disability Savings Plans while continuing to receive income assistance.

Similar to a Registered Education Savings Plan, the Registered Disability Savings Plan allows families and their children with disabilities to save money, tax-free,
until it's needed.

"Many people worry about what will happen when they're no longer here to provide care for a family member who is disabled," said Community Services Minister Chris d'Entremont. "This will give families peace of mind by allowing them to plan a more financially secure future for their relative."

Community Services will fully exempt the Registered Disability Savings Plan contributions when calculating clients' eligibility for income assistance. Clients will also be able to withdraw funds from the plan without affecting their income assistance payments.

There are no restrictions on who may contribute to a Registered Disability Savings Plan and no annual contribution limit. There is a lifetime maximum of $200,000 per
individual fund. The federal government recently announced that the 2008
contribution year has been extended to March 2, 2009.
So what do we know?
  • The RDSP is currently offered in Nova Scotia by the Bank of Montreal


  • The RDSP will be offered in Nova Scotia by the Royal Bank of Canada on Feb. 16, 2009


  • Any contributions made to a RDSP by March 2, 2009, will be considered as 2008 contributions and thus eligible for the federal government Grant and Bond.


  • The Dept. of Community Services will not treat the Plan itself as an asset for the purposes of determining eligibility for income assistance


  • Withdrawals from the Plan will not be treated as income so as to effect an individual's eligibility for income assistance
Kudos to the Province for coming in line with the rest of the country. Thank you.

And a deep and heartfelt Thank you to all the fine folks at PLAN for their absolutely amazing work around the RDSP. Without this organization and their many, many hours of work (along with volunteers from across the country), Canada would not be the first country in the world to offer the Registered Disability Savings Plan. Nor would we have all ten of our provinces exempting the RDSP in some form.

Who said individuals with disabilities, working in partnership with their family members and others can't make a difference?

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